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Maybe you have already found the Smith Mountain Lake home of your dreams and it is just missing one tiny detail to make it absolutely perfect, or possibly you are on the hunt for the home that will change your life, and that little detail is on your new home must-have list. Either way, adding a fire pit or upgrading the one that is already there is an expense that can cost very little while adding a touch of luxury to the home you are choosing as your own. This guide to fire pits will help you pick the perfect addition to your new and beautiful Smith Mountain Lake home!

Keep It Simple

As the sun sets over the horizon and the stars light up the sky, gathering around the fire pit, sipping hot cocoa and telling ghost stories promises to be the best part of your day, and you don’t need to spend a whole lot of money to have a whole lot of fun! Build your own with fire safe blocks (and away from low hanging branches) and use the chairs you have already purchased for your patio table. As long as they are comfortable and the fire is safe, the experiences you have out in the backyard are destined to be memorable ones!

Still Simple, But No Construction Required

Not everyone has the skills required to build their own fire pits, and that is perfectly ok! You can find fire pits at nearly every home store, ranging in size and shape from small metal bowls to larger tables that come as a set with comfy chairs. Choose from wood burning, propane, or even electric fire pits and discover how much more wonderful your yard is when you add a little extra style to the landscape!

Spoil Yourselves!

Everyone has their idea of the perfect backyard oasis, and if you believe in luxury, well, your options are plentiful! Build a beehive fireplace with built-in seating and connect it to your outdoor kitchen and spend every evening wishing you never had to come back inside. Are you considering buying a pool? Did you know they can carve out a section of your pool and dedicate that space to seating AND a firepit?

Choose Smith Mountain Lake Properties

Finding the perfect home is easy when you choose Smith Mountain Lake Properties. Give us a call today!

One of the more exciting parts of owning your home in the heart of Smith Mountain Lake country is being able to decorate for the holidays. Hanging valentines and Cupid’s angels in February, honoring your country with red, white, and blue décor in the summer months, and when the calendar turns to fall? Your decorating skills will get a work out as you switch from haunted Halloween, to blessed Thanksgiving, and, of course, cheerful Christmas, all within just a few weeks of each other! This guide to Halloween decoration ideas will help you create a space that is spine-tingling spooktacular and easy to put up and take down quickly.

Halloween Decorating Doesn’t Have to Be Scary

Families with young children appreciate the need to keep the décor low-key and non-threatening as overactive imaginations can lead to nightmares and lack of sleep, so for you not scary will be the theme. Accomplished with the use of pumpkins, real or fake, you don’t even need good carving skills to make your home a Halloween do! Paint black cats or scarecrow faces on a giant gourd to place on your front porch, place mini pumpkins and pine cones you picked up from your yard in a row along your window sill over the sink, and create a garland of “candy” to hang around your door! (Styrofoam and colored cellophane can be sculpted into giant pieces of candy that you tack together with picture wire!)

Demonic Décor

Of course, hard core traditionalists will NEED to scare everyone that walks by and this can be accomplished in a number of ways. Use Styrofoam to create tombstones painted cement gray and “plant” a graveyard in your front yard, adding fake spiderwebs to the tombs and for extra screams, perhaps place a hand reaching out from the earth on one of the graves! Internet music stations begin to offer Halloween themed music playlists this time of year, so hide a Bluetooth speaker behind one of the tombstones and on Halloween, have the spooky songs playing continuously. Dip cheesecloth in fabric stiffener and place over balloons to create lightweight ghosts you can hang all around the house and paint your hands red and make bloody handprints on wax paper, hanging it over a window with a candle flickering behind it and create a crime scene guaranteed to scare the most jaded of trick or treaters!

There’s Many More Ideas Where These Came From!

Your Halloween won’t be the same without a new Smith Mountain Lake home to decorate; give us a call today and let’s start the hunt for your Halloween hideaway!

Well, it’s official. You have signed on the dotted line and your new home in the Smith Mountain Lake area is all yours! It wasn’t hard finding the perfect home in the perfect area, especially as you chose Smith Mountain Lake Properties to help with the search, and now the key is in your hand and your dream is coming true. Although the cleanliness and charm of your new home is what attracted you to it in the first place, the first thing you want to do, before you even move in your belongings, is give it a good cleaning, forever making it yours. These tips for cleaning other people’s dirt from your new home will help make quick work of the matter, allowing you to continue on to the second step, moving in your stuff!

Bathrooms and Kitchens

The majority of messes made are in these two areas, so cleaning them will be your first priority. Cut through any grime with three key ingredients: baking soda, white vinegar, and those white spongy things that work like magic! Starting with your bathroom, you will first create a paste with vinegar and baking soda, grab a toothbrush, and climb in the shower or tub. Dipping your toothbrush into the paste you just made, scrub the grout lines and the individual tiles, leaving it to set for a while, and then washing it off with a sponge (those magic erasers do wonders) and hot water after. This same paste will work on stainless steel sinks in the kitchen, so be sure to grab an industrial size box of baking soda and jug of vinegar.

If the shower and tub area isn’t that bad, go ahead and just wipe all the surfaces down with the sponge; there is even a version designed specifically for baths that will remove soap scum. In the kitchen, the sponges work really well in microwaves, refrigerators, and flat stove tops, so a visit to Costco may be in order! Toilets clean easily with a spray of Kaboom, and if you invest in the Clorox cleaning wands, you can do a quick scrub down in the mornings, ensuring your bathroom stays sparkling clean. Windex for windows, antibacterial spray for countertops, paper towels, and rubber gloves will help ensure that every inch of your space is clean and ready to officially be declared your new family home!

Not Quite There Yet?

 Of course, you may be still in the early stages of your house hunt, and if you are still dreaming about finding the perfect property, give us a call today and let Smith Mountain Lake Properties help make your dreams come true!

One of the hottest investments you can make right now is vacation rental property, and if you are seeking one in the Smith Mountain Lake area, we can promise you it will be the best decision you will make! Unfortunately, not all investment homes are created equal, and if this is your first time purchasing one, you may not know what makes one home work better than others. Because we want to see you succeed, we at Smith Mountain Lake Properties have created this guide to help potential investors know what to look for when they begin their search!

Location Matters

You are already in the right ball park if you are looking in the bucolic Smith Mountain Lake area, but if you want to be sure that you make that hit, choosing a home on the lake is your best first step. Vacationers want that lake lifestyle, need those water views, and will pay more for homes that allow them to walk off the porch and dive into the lake, so even if the cost is a little higher, the income will be higher as well!

Less Traffic Jams in the Mornings

No, we are not talking about the roads of Moneta or Bedford, we are talking about the traffic jams that take place every morning when there are not enough bathrooms to accommodate the number of guests staying in your place! Multiple bathrooms are one of the main reasons travelers are turning away from hotel rooms, so the more bathrooms you can offer in your rental, the more likely your guests will want to chose your home above all others!

Cleanliness and Comfort

Obviously, no one wants to stay in a dumpy and dirty vacation rental, but that doesn’t mean you have to purchase one that is move-in ready; it just means you have to be able to look beyond the dingy and picture the potential! Our helpful agents at Smith Mountain Lake Properties can help you find the investment property that will attract all the right interest; give us a call today!

When you buy a home on or near the lake, the one thing you can definitely count on is wanting to spend a LOT of time outside enjoying the natural beauty of the Smith Mountain Lake landscape. Our homes are an oasis, and the yard is a key part to creating the lifestyle you have always imagined. Although not all the homes you will be looking at will have the backyard of your dreams, there are simple ways to convert the less than impressive into the simply wonderful! It’s just a matter of adding some fantastic backyard features to your home. We at Smith Mountain Lake Properties have come up with a few suggestions that will show you the possibilities!

Lakeside Contemplations

Our favorite thing to do at the lake is absolutely nothing. Enjoy life’s simple pleasures such as relaxing outdoors, staring at the sky while feeling summer breezes wash over you as you contemplate life’s mysteries. Purchasing a hammock is the first thing you can do to achieve the state of nothingness. Tie it between two trees, both providing an extra level of cool as you relax under their canopy, or if your new property does not have two trees, purchasing a hammock on a stand is a perfectly appropriate substitution! Either way, this simple purchase can go a long way in making your backyard oasis complete.

Cozy and Warm

Another simple addition to a lakeside backyard is a fire pit. Coming in a range of shapes, styles, and sizes that make them a perfect fit to any yard, the hours of entertainment they provide is not something most people think about. Surround the pit with colorfully painted Adirondack chairs (the wide flat arms allow a place to rest your drinks or snacks) and spend the cooler lake nights gathered around, roasting marshmallows, telling ghost stories with your kids, or simply enjoying the warmth of a roaring fire contrasting with the coolness of the night air as you listen to the peaceful night sounds of the lake.

Ahoy There!

Lake days are made so much better when spent ON the lake, either zipping about in a racy speedboat or paddling your way to peace from the seat of a canoe or kayak, and most lakeside homes will already have a private dock, but if your potential dreamhouse does not, adding one is relatively easy; you just have to follow the Smith Mountain Lake regulations on building one. Once completed, you can leave your boat tied to the dock, always available for an impromptu journey around the lake, and because docks make handy jumping off spots, your children or spouse can work on improving their cannonballs!

Just a Sample

From hot tubs to outdoor kitchens, there are a variety of ways to make the backyard of your potential home your own. Give us a call today and let’s get the search started!

One of our favorite parts of buying a new home is imagining all the possibilities, from the first peeks inside as you picture your teenage daughter lounging on the dock, soaking up the sun’s rays, to your son climbing high into that tree that provides the perfect amount of shade on a lazy summer’s day, to the thoughts of tossing out the tired décor of your current living room and starting from scratch. Everything about your new Smith Mountain Lake home is filled with possibilities, and to help with the portrait you have painted in your mind, this guide to living room décor trends will give you an idea as to what direction you want to take once you have signed on the dotted line.

Picking Colors

There are lots of ways to make a room your own, but sometimes the best thing you can do is pick up a paintbrush and give the space your personal touch! Paint is the cheapest mistake you can make, so if you don’t like your first choice, try, try, again. We promise that layers of paint won’t decrease the size of your living space! Today’s most popular color scheme is a gray and white combination, while other colors that are much loved, especially around lakes, are shades of blue or even pure white. White walls work much as they do in galleries, making your décor choices stand out. Remember, this is your room, and if you think a crimson red accent wall is what you want, a crimson red accent wall is what you should get!

Choosing Furnishings

We were so excited to read that current home decorating trends are leading towards cozy and comfortable, because when you think about it, the living room is where you will spend a good portion of your days, and you want to be comfortable. A sectional sofa covered in a soft chenille is always a good choice, offering the perfect place to nap, watch television, or offer guests a place to sleep. If you are worried about stains—lake living can be hard on the material—microfiber materials hold up to dirt well; you can always buy a machine-washable slipcover as well! Be sure to offer places to set cups, plates, and your feet because we all know kids and husbands can’t NOT rest their feet on coffee tables! Finally, when it comes to flooring, wood is a classic choice that will never let you down, but the new engineered hardwoods and vinyl plank options are hardy, less expensive, and stand up to lake life.

Before You Start Decorating

Now that you have a few ideas, the important first step must be taken: Give us a call today and let Smith Mountain Lake Properties find the home of your dreams!

Summer energy bills can be a little high, especially as you and your family or the guests that rent out your Smith Mountain Lake home run in and out of the property during the most expensive times of the day. Kids leave doors open, clothing gets washed, and televisions, radios, and laptops are consistently plugged in and used, running the bill even higher. This guide to some energy-saving tips we have learned over the years, however, will help make your summer bank account stretch a little further, as you won’t have to put so much of it towards the bills!

Save the Big Appliance Use for After the Sun Has Set

Washers, dryers, even the oven in your kitchen can drive up the energy usage, so waiting until the cooler hours to use any of these appliances can definitely help! In addition, dryers can be the biggest energy suckers, which leads us to yet another tip: Hang your clothes out on a line and reap the benefits. Sleep comes easier when you fall into beds topped with sheets that smell like sunshine, and if you happen to save a little money while doing so, it is a good thing!

Plant a Tree Near the House

This environmentally sound tip is often surprising to people, but when you plant a tree near the house, it can lower energy bills as much as 25%! Cleaning the air and providing birds and other wildlife a new home in which they can reside is a bonus that we can all happily live with, and the shade it offers also provides a great place for energetic kids to play during the warmer days of summer.

Smart Thermostats Are a Smart Solution

Air conditioners are the biggest culprits when it comes to high energy bills, but a smart thermostat can help take a bite out of the bills! Some electric companies offer a credit when you install one in your home, and if you are following a time of use plan, setting it at higher temps during the more expensive hours will save you money, and you won’t have to remember to run back to your house and change it as you would a manual one.

Choose an Energy Efficient Home

New homes offer a lot of benefits, including energy efficiency, and we at Smith Mountain Lake Properties can help you find the new home of your dreams! Give us a call today and let’s find the summer home that meets all your qualifications.